We're excited about the opportunity this new production capacity will give us to expand our presence in Europe, said Nathalie Delava, European product manager for the adhesives business line. We already enjoy an outstanding reputation among customers here for the technical performance of our products.By bringing local production on stream, we expect to be able to better serve our customers enabling us to be a significant supplier throughout Europe.
The manufacturing unit at Dijon will produce solution acrylic pressure sensitive adhesive products. Production will start in the second half of this year. Both pilot plant and industrial-size batch tests already have been completed successfully at Dijon.
Along with local production, the growth of Solutia's pressure sensitive adhesives will be driven by outstanding technical service and logistical support, Delava said. The adhesives customer support laboratory has been relocated from Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium to Dijon during 2001, she noted. Since March 1, on-site warehousing is provided as well; these changes result in Solutia now having total capability to service all needs of customers locally throughout Europe.
By bringing all these resources together, we can be much more responsive to customer requests for problem solving, trial samples and customized products, Delava said. In addition, the Solutia research labs (in Graz, Austria) will be able to provide process development support for a number of new Gelva products to fill the regional needs of European customers that will be commercialized in the near future.
The Dijon plant, opened in 1965, currently produces three product ranges alkyd, polyester and acrylic resins for coating applications. This manufacturing site is also well suited to produce acrylic pressure sensitive adhesives based on its past experience with acrylic resin production. The site has earned certification for both its quality management system (ISO 9002, ISO 9001) and its environmental management system (ISO 14001).
Solutia's PSA product line includes dozens of highly specialized Gelva adhesive formulations. These products are used for a broad range of demanding applications in industries such as graphics and printing, automotive, medical and solar films.
Along with pressure sensitive adhesive technologies, the Resins and Additives business unit of Solutia manufactures and markets a broad range of liquid coatings resins, powder coatings resins, performance additives and other products at plants worldwide.